Former Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer placed some of the blame for Johnny Manziel’s struggles on the team, saying that Cleveland wasn’t prepared to handle a player with his celebrity status.
Speaking on ESPN’s NFL Insiders program, Farmer said that the Browns failed on their end of the Manziel arrangement.
“In Johnny’s case, I truly feel like a lot of people piled on the young man,” Farmer said. “He’s done his share of helping everybody get on top of that bandwagon, but the reality is the responsibility is borne by both the club, and the player.”
When asked why he feels Johnny Manziel was such a difficult player to work with, Farmer again cited the amount of attention that was on the quarterback before he ever got to the league.
“It’s celebrity,” Farmer said. “This player had unique celebrity that I don't think the league has seen in a lot of different players. A lot of guys come to the NFL and make their celebrity there, this young man came in with a Rolling Stone magazine cover type of persona. That brings a whole new element of how you try to handle the person that comes with it.”
Manziel, 23, was released just two years after he was taken in the first round by Cleveland. He is currently a free agent, but Farmer said he is not thinking about football when it comes to his former player.
“I’m concerned for the person more than I am the player,” Farmer said. “Whether Johnny plays another down in the National Football League is not my concern. I do hope the young man finds the help that he needs to put himself back together.”